Friday, November 28, 2014

Wooden Literalism

I waited outside the preacher's office. I had been called in to discuss my conduct. The pastor and assistant pastor were talking about a church member. "He could be a millionaire by age twenty five!" In the Presbyterian church, this is mighty close to achieving sainthood.

For under their totally twisted view of Calvinism, riches in this life represented heavenly reward, the present world being their idea of the millennium. Conversely, poverty was considered as a sign of heavenly rebuke.

Finally, I was called in. A member of the church had seen my car in the driveway of my aunt by marriage. We had seen her coming up the walk and ignored her knocks on the door. She immediately assumed that we were having a lover's tryst. When I said I had no such feelings about my aunt, I was asked if I was a homosexual. Man, what you have to endure to teach the Bible in a judgmental church!

I could have mentioned that when the assistant pastor had visited my aunt after his vacation that he told her, "You look good, even after all those bikinis in Florida." But, being the nice guy I am, I decided not to.

After I had dispelled their fears on the issue of being queer, they moved on to their concern over my teaching. "You must avoid wooden literalism," I was told. Being a naive literalist--one who believes that the cross of Jesus was both wooden and literal--I ignored this attempted rebuke. The men who would advise me on how to interpret the Bible were about as adept in this field as I was in playing line backer in the National Football League.

Shortly thereafter, I received a call from the church secretary informing me that an anonymous member of one of my Bible classes was giving me a paid-for trip to the Holy Land. Why? Because they said I taught the Bible literally! Goes to show you that even in a misguided and corrupt church someone can understand what you are trying to do.

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